I was ready to lose it today with DS (2.5). We had my BFF and her 2-yo DD over for a playdate. The kids, historically, have been wild beasts when they're together. It's nerve-wracking. I can't take the shrieking and the frenzy. DS is generally mellow, but not when he's with his friend.
Last week, BFF dropped her daughter off for a few hours so she could run some errands, and the kids were GREAT. No fighting, no screaming, all good. I thought, "Okay, they're starting to mellow out." Nope.
This morning, DS was a GREAT help, a good listener, etc. Til they got here. Then it was instant frenzy, and my nerves started to fray. Since the kids were restless, we decided it was time to hit the pool. Everyone was hot, the water was a great idea. They calmed down a little, but DS was still frenzied. I tried to talk to him, to remind him he needed to be a good listener, and to calm down. No go. He kept getting more violent and frenzied towards me each time I tried to get him to mellow out. So I decided to leave him alone and not nag him, until he started being outright MEAN to his friend (hitting, grabbing, etc. which, btw, is NOT his normal MO). I started to tell him to be nice, and he lashed out at me, and then flung his body off the step he was on, into the water!
He just sank right to the bottom of the pool, and it happened so fast my friend (who was right there) didn't even see it. She thought he just splashed me. I was able to grab him and haul him out of the pool, and had him sit in a chair to calm down. We were both scared, and by that point I just wanted to explode. Of course, yelling at him wouldn't have helped, he would not have understood the lecture of how dangerous it was to do what he did, but I have no idea how to get it through to him that when I tell him to chill, he NEEDS to chill, whether I ask him to go sit on a chair away from the activity, or to just take a deep breath and a pause in the action. (I had put him in "time out" out of the pool once or twice already, b/c he wasn't being nice, and he couldn't calm down b/c he wanted to be in the pool so badly. Normally it works under more boring conditions....)
I spend a lot of time telling him WHY he needs to be a good listener: Basically, b/c it's not safe not to be, but it's about being a good listener in the pool, in the bath, in the kitchen with me around sharp/hot things, in the gym/park/playground, etc. He gets it. He knows that we will stop whatever activity we're doing if he can't be a good listener. But I couldn't get through to him today, b/c he was SO crazy about his friend being there.
What am I supposed to do, send them home when they had been here less time than it took them to drive here and back? That punishes all of us. Make him stay in the house? That wouldn't be very calming for anyone. Never invite friends over since he's proven he can't behave with kids in the house? (He went insane when his other friends came over a few weeks ago, but I was hoping the novelty would wear off and he'd get over it.)
I'm really upset about this. It's one thing to accept that I'm going to have frayed nerves after a play date and I need to get over myself, but it's quite another to be so afraid that something really serious could happen b/c of this toddler madness. I'm already struggling to stay calm with all the shrieking, but to have him try to drown himself is a whole other level of worry.